In the past two decades, there has been growing interest in the role of telecommunications in the development process, sparked perhaps by the heightened visibility of the sector, as technological change and competition have fostered new facilities and services. The advent of the Internet has focused new attention on the properties of information and information networks. Researchers with technical, economic, and other social science backgrounds have attempted to understand and quantify the role of information in economies. They have been joined by rural development specialists who are asking whether investment in information infrastructure can contribute to rural economic growth and diversification.